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Over indexation of pension benefits: Police retirees join nationwide thanksgiving rally for senators

(The Freeman) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Members of the Philippine National Police Retirees Association, Inc. (PRAI) have expressed their gratitude to the senators who pushed for the provision on the indexation of their pension benefits under the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015.

 Around 50 PRAI offi-cers in Central Visayas, led by their president, retired Col. Walberto Mandin, joined the nationwide thanksgiving rally in front of the Cebu Provincial Capitol last Monday.

They thanked Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for pushing for the indexation provision in the SSL and Sena-tor Vicente “Tito” Sotto for supporting Enrile’s amendments to Senate Bill 2671.

The bill, which was filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, was already passed on third and final reading last January 18.

 “While we manifested our help in the passing of a bill in the third and final reading is more or less a formality. The crucible is in the Bicam. So let us be more vigilant and continuously watch this unfolding event,” said Mandin, addressing the PRAI members.

 They also thanked former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who is running for a Senate return in the May 9 elections, for helping his fellow retirees.

 “Unprecedented itong ginawa ng Senate para isulong ang indexation ng retirees ng mga pulis, military at iba pang uniformed personnel,” PRAI quoted Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as saying.

PRAI also thanked Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senators Pia Caye-tano, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Ralph Recto.

“Mr. Abad hindi kami marunong mag gold, we are not living in luxury,” read one of the placards referring to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who was reportedly trying to stop the increase of the pension of retired uniformed men.

Aside from PRAI, other retirees covered are those from the Association of Generals and Flags Officers, Inc. (AGFO), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Philippine Coast Guard.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. has stressed that lawmakers are determined to pass the proposed SSL of 2015, as he said the House of Representatives is looking forward to the start of the bicameral conference meeting on the measure.

The House approved on third and final reading last December 9, 2015 House Bill 6268 or the SSL 2015 principally authored by the Speaker, which modifies the compensation and position classification system of civilian government personnel and the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel in the government to be implemented in four tranches, starting Jan. 1, 2016.

The Senate approved its own version, Senate Bill 2671, on third and final reading on Jan. 18.

The budget for the coverage of the military and police retirees has not been included in the P57.9 billion appropriation for the original SSL 2015 bill endorsed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The P57.9 billion budget has been included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2016. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ASSOCIATION OF GENERALS AND FLAGS OFFICERS BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY CEBU PROVINCIAL CAPITOL CENTRAL VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT SENATE BILL
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